HUNGARY’S parliament has banned same-sex couples from adopting children as it doubles down on its traditional values by writing ‘the mother is a woman, the father is a man’ into its constitution.
Led by ultra-conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orban, MPs gave the green light to new measures targeting the country’s LGBTQ community yesterday.
Viktor Orban’s far-right Hungarian government has banned same-sex couples from adopting[/caption]
The legislation put forward by Orban’s right-wing government says only married couples can adopt, with some exceptions for single relatives of the child.
The Hungarian government has explained the change by saying “new ideological processes in the West” made it necessary to “protect children against possible ideological or biological interference”.
The amendment says it “ensures the upbringing of children according to…Christian culture”.
“Hungary defends the right of children to identify with their birth gender and ensures their upbringing based on our nation’s constitutional identity and values based on our Christian culture,” it says.
Same-sex marriage is illegal in Hungary, but adoption has been possible if one partner applies on their own.
An amendment approved on Tuesday defines family as “based on marriage and the parent-child relation. The mother is a woman, the father a man”.
Same-sex couples will now be unable to adopt, even if one of them applies as a single person.
“The main rule is that only married couples can adopt a child, that is, a man and a woman who are married,” Justice Minister Judit Varga said.
The new rule comes after Hungary banned transgender people from changing their gender on identity documents following a change in the law in May.
The category of ‘sex’ was replaced with ‘sex assigned at birth’ on birth, marriage and death certificates as LGBT+ advocates said the move was creating panic among trans people who feared a spike in discrimination and attacks.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has overseen a series of constitutional changes[/caption]
The new rules have been criticised by rights groups, who called the changes a “dark day”.
“This is a dark day for Hungary’s LGBTQ community and a dark day for human rights,” said David Vig, director of Amnesty Hungary.
Activists called on Ursula von der Leyen, the EU Commission president, to intervene in the row.
Katrin Hugendubel, advocacy director at LGBT+ rights group ILGA, said the bills would see children “forced to grow up in an environment which restricts them from being able to express their identities”.
She added: “Children across Hungary will be refused safe and loving families, as adoption is restricted only to married heterosexual couples. This attempt to rush through these discriminatory, homophobic and transphobic new laws are part of an ongoing attack on LGBTI people by Hungarian authorities.”
The latest attack on LGBTQ rights in Hungary is part of long-running policies from Orban and his far-right government since his landslide leadership victory in 2010.
The constitution adopted after Orban came to power had already defined marriage as being exclusively between a man and a woman.
But a key figure in the drafting of that document, Jozsef Szajer, was forced to resign as an MEP last month after being caught at what Belgian police said was an illegal all-male sex party that breached virus lockdown rules.
He was disowned by Orban, who said he had “no place” in his political family.
Orban’s critics, who have included Hillary Clinton and Angela Merkel have accused him of pursuing anti-democratic reforms, and eroding the independence of the press, judicial system and central bank.
His anti-migrant stance recently came to a head as Hungary and Poland locked horns with the EU over fears they could be forced to accept migrants to unlock vital post-Covid recovery cash.
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Previously, during the 2015 migrant crisis which rocked Europe, Orban ordered the building of a razor-wire fence to block the entry of migrants through Serbia.
He has also described refugees as a threat to “Christian values” and in September became one of the few European leaders to endorse Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.